Czech Republic posts record meat imports in 2017

By Jaroslaw Adamowski

- Last updated on GMT

Czech Republic posts record meat imports in 2017

Related tags Meat Beef Pork

The Czech Republic imported a record amount of meat in 2017, valued at CZK 28 billion (€1.1 billion), four times more than when the country joined the EU in 2004, according to local industry association.

"Year-on-year, the negative trade balance in meat deteriorated by nearly CZK 2 billion,"​ Martin Pýcha, the president of the Agricultural Association of the Czech Republic (ZSCR), said in a statement. "The dramatic increase in agricultural imports has been responsible for the lower domestic agricultural production, in particular regarding livestock breeding."

Imports on the rise

This is confirmed by the latest data from the Czech Statistics Office (CZSO). In 2017, the country’s poultry meat production was the only meat industry segment that posted an increase, up 1.5% year-on-year to some 158,906 tonnes (t). Local poultry meat producers exported a total of 116,785t, down 2.3% compared with 2016. Imports totalled 34,372t, a decrease of 7.2% year-on-year. Last year, poultry meat was mostly imported from Poland, and Slovakia was the prime export destination for Czech producers.

Last year, the Czech Republic’s pig meat production was down to 211,001t, a decrease of 4.2% compared with 2016. The country’s pork meat imports significantly exceeded the domestic production, at 263,787t which was an increase of 1.5% year-on-year, while export sales stood at 35,598t, down 3.1% compared with a year earlier. Germany, Spain, Poland and Belgium represented the primary sources of the Czech Republic’s pork meat imports, while Slovakia was the main export destination for local producers.

In 2017, the Czech meat industry imported live pigs predominantly from Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands, and pigs for slaughter were mostly exported to Slovakia, Hungary and Germany, as indicated by the Prague-based office.

Pork meat remains the most popular kind of meat in the Czech Republic, followed by poultry and beef.

In 2017, the country’s beef meat production totalled 67,714t, down 5.9% year-on-year, according to figures released by the state-run institution. A total of 37,283 t of beef meat, up 19.8% year-on-year, were imported by the Czech Republic, predominantly from Poland, the Netherlands and Germany. Czech producers exported some 10,322 t of beef meat which represented a slight decrease of 0.1% compared with a year earlier. The main export destinations for local meat industry players were Slovakia and the Netherlands.

"Live cattle were mostly imported from Slovakia (for slaughter), exports were mainly to Austria (slaughter and breeding), Turkey (predominantly for breeding), and Germany (for both purposes, with the predominance of slaughter),"​ the CZSO said in its report.

The CZSO collects its agricultural data from a number of sources, including figures from the country’s trade and animal product statistics, the Czech Ministry of Agriculture, and others.

Set up in 1990, the ZSCR is based in the country’s capital Prague.

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